Plastic Surgery

Sports mouth guard

What is the Sports mouth guard?

A mouth guard (mouth protector) is a flexible custom fitted device worn over teeth during athletic and recreational activities to protect them from damage. 

There are three types of mouth guards:

1. Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.

2. Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The "boil and bite" mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.

3. Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist's instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.

What are the characteristics of an ideal mouth protector?

Mouth guards can buffer damage to the teeth, the brackets and/or other fixed appliances from blows and physical contact. Mouth guards can also act as a barrier between teeth/braces and the cheeks, between the lips and tongue, thereby limiting the risk of soft tissue damage.

The ideal mouth guard also:
- allows speaking and does not limit breathing;
- stays firmly in place during action;
- provides a high degree of comfort and fit;
- is durable and easy to clean;
- is resilient, tear-resistant, odorless and tasteless.

If the mouth guard is worn by the child, then, depending on the child's growth, mouth guards may need to be replaced once a year.

What kind of result can you expect?

Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of using a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth.

Mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.

How to care for a mouth guard?

Suggestions include:
• rinse the mouth guard in soap and warm (not hot) water after each use allow it to air-dry;
• disinfect the mouth guard from time to time with a mouthwash;
• keep the mouth guard in a well-ventilated plastic storage box when not in use. The box should have several holes in it;
• do not leave the mouth guard in direct sunlight, in a closed car or in the car’s glove box. heat can damage it;
• ensure your mouth guard is in good condition before each use;
• ask your dentist to inspect your mouth guard at every dental check-up;
• replace the mouth guard if it is damaged;
• replace a child’s mouth guard every 12 to 18 months, even if it appears to be in good condition. Growth and new teeth can alter the fit;
• replace an adult’s mouth guard after dental treatment or tooth loss. Otherwise it should last for several years.

Possible side effects and complications

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